A Borders journalist has hit the headlines by landing the job of anchor of the flagship news programme on Scotland’s new channel, STV2.
Halla Mohieddeen, formerly of Kelso and Earlston, is leading the new nightly programme after spending the last 10 years working in China and France.
The 37-year-old, a former pupil of Heiton and Earlston primaries and Earlston High School, started her media career after graduating from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University with a degree in translation.
She then spent more than six years in China as a journalist, weather presenter, radio presenter and TV personality before moving to France in 2013 to present for 24-hour news channel France 24.
Getting her big break in Scotland has meant a welcome homecoming for Halla, now living in Glasgow with husband Tommaso Pani.
“It’s such a fascinating time to be back in Scotland,” she said. “It’s great to be doing something that I love with a show I really believe in.
“A lot of the programme is very driven by the agenda of the day. We’ve a real mix of Scottish and international news. It’s a completely new news concept and we’ve had amazing feedback so far.
“It’s about curating the best news internationally and the best news for a Scottish audience, and it’s great having that flexibility of format.
“We are not having to stick kilts on any of our stories. We tell the news as it is and that is why there is a demand for this show.
“If I wasn’t presenting it, I’d definitely be watching it.”
The 30-minute programme airs every week night at 7pm on STV2 and is streamed live on the STV Player and Facebook Live.
Halla added: “There are so many new ways of consuming the news, and we are riding the wave with this rather than reacting to it. It’s an exciting experiment, and it’s great to see people engaging on Facebook in the comments section.
“It’s a great way to bring people the news that they want.”
On a personal level, the move means more visits home to the Borders to see family.
Her mum Heather, an accountant, now lives in Oxton, and her grandmother stays in Earlston.
Heather added: “It’s lovely being able to watch her in the same time zone as catching the weather in China was quite difficult.
“I am really proud of what she has achieved.”
“She is a very entertaining presenter.”